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In Orlando, Tampa and throughout the state of Florida, parties to a divorce often ask, “how is child support calculated?” In Florida the amount of child support is determined by the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. To properly calculate the amount of child support using the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, you will need to know both parties’ gross income, net income and imputed income (if applicable).  Child support will typically end when the minor child turn 18. However, there are some instances where the support could continue after the child turns 18.

Calculating Child Support

The amount of child support is determined by the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.  There are generally 5 steps you must take to complete the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet and come to a child support number: (1) calculate both parties’ combined monthly income; (2) match the gross income number with the number of children in a chart to get the total amount of support; (3) determine each parent’s percentage share of child support; (4) add amounts related to work related child care and health insurance; (5) make adjustments and deviations if necessary.

Calculating Income For Child Support

  1. Gross Income
  2. Imputed Income
  3. Net Income

Gross Income

You must first determine the monthly gross income for each spouse. Gross income is your total income and it may encompass many things.

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Imputed Income

In some situations, a spouse that is not working or generating an income might still have an income amount assigned to or imputed to them for purposes of calculating child support.

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Net Income

Net income is obtained by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income.

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  • Duration of Child Support

    In Orlando, Tampa and throughout Florida, child support will typically end when the child turns 18, unless the parents previously agreed to a later date. However, in some instances child support may continue after the child turns 18. For example, if the child is in high school and not yet 19 years old, the child support will continue if it is reasonably certain the child will graduate high school before turning 19. Additionally, the court may indefinitely continue child support past the age of 18 for a child who is still dependent because of severe mental or physical incapacities.

  • College Expenses

    In Florida, parents are not required to pay for a child’s college expenses. This means that no case law or judge can order you to pay for college expenses. Although parents are not required by law to pay for a child’s college expenses, parents are still free to contract with each other to provide for college and graduate school expenses in a settlement agreement. Such agreements are legally binding and enforceable by the general principles of contract law.


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